Neil Patel

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12 Qualities of Great Content Marketers

12 qualities of great content marketers

Content marketing costs 62 percent less than outbound marketing. Despite that, it generates three times more leads. With people becoming numb to intrusive (outbound) marketing strategies, leveraging permissive marketing techniques like content marketing is becoming more critical.

That’s why you need to invest in a great content marketer.

To help you do that, I’ll highlight some essential content marketers’ qualities you must look out for.

What Is a Content Marketer?

Ask ten different people what a content marketer is, and you’ll probably get ten different answers. That’s because content marketing is defined differently depending on who you ask.

However, a content marketer can be defined as a person responsible for planning, creating, and distributing valuable content on behalf of a business. That content serves the purpose of:

  • attracting leads
  • driving brand awareness
  • keeping readers engaged
  • converting leads into customers
  • turning customers into repeat buyers and brand ambassadors

To succeed at their job, a content marketer should have a great understanding of the product they’re promoting and their target audience. Doing so is essential to creating content that resonates with their audience and converts.

Why Does Your Company Need a Content Marketer?

Every brand needs a content marketer. The reason for that is simple—every interaction you have with your leads, prospects, and customers is done via content. With content marketing, you can:

  • educate your audience
  • connect with your audience
  • build trust
  • sell your products

The quality of content you produce has a significant impact on your business growth and success. 

12 Qualities of Great Content Marketers

Now that you know what a content marketer is, what they do, and why they’re so crucial to your company, let’s quickly dive into the qualities you should look for when hiring a content marketer.

1. Great Content Marketers Are Ambitious

There are two types of content marketers you’ll encounter as you search for your unicorn.

The first type takes content marketing as a chore that needs to be completed. All they care about is ticking the right boxes and calling it a day. You don’t want this type of content marketer.

The second type of content marketer is driven by ambition. They have a desire to create the best content on any given topic. Not only that, but they are also passionate about positioning their brand as the go-to thought leader in their space.

Ambitious content marketers don’t just settle for writing great content—they strive to create the best content. They work hard to ensure their content reaches the right audience by aggressively promoting it.

There are close to 8 million blog posts published a day.

That number doesn’t include other types of content like video, podcasts, infographics, etc. Nothing but the best content can cut through that kind of noise. That’s why ambition must be one of the top content marketer qualities you must look for.

2. Great Content Marketers Are Focused

Successful content marketers are laser-focused.

What does that mean?

It’s easy to fill a content calendar with general topics that readers may (or may not) love. The question, however, is whether general content moves the marketing needle. It doesn’t. It may receive a lot of views and engagement, but if it does not convert, it’s a waste of time and resources.

Great content marketers focus on creating content with a purpose. This is content that’s helpful to both your brand and its audience. While this may mean having a more challenging time filling your content calendar, it results in supreme content quality.

By focusing your content creation on topics that matter to your audience, you become a resource in your industry. The snowball effect of that is your content will generate leads on autopilot. It also leads to higher engagement rates, better ranking, and increased brand awareness

3. Great Content Marketers Think About Value

Not all content is created equal, and your audience knows that. That’s why they never hang around for fluff.

When looking for a content marketer, look for one who is value-focused. These are the type of content marketers who pack value into each piece of content they produce. They know exactly what your audience needs and deliver on it.

To ensure value-packed content, content marketers must be empathetic. By putting themselves in their audience’s shoes, they’re better able to understand customer pain points and thus articulate them better.

Another way of adding value to your content is by creating it from your audience’s perspective, not yours. Writing from a brand perspective turns content into an advertorial. Creating it from your audience’s perspective makes it feel like they’re talking to a friend.

Content marketers who prioritize value over volume are an asset that will help drive your brand forward. Look for this quality when hunting for your next content marketer.

4. Great Content Marketers Are Creative and Imaginative

In a world where information overload is a threat, creating content that rises above the noise takes creativity. One way of doing that is by deviating from the cookie-cutter content everyone in your niche is churning out.

Creativity and an imaginative mind are vital qualities you should look for in a content marketer. They are qualities that will help your content marketer uncover different angles, content gaps, and storytelling ideas that will make your content stand out. 

Particularly if you’re in a competitive or boring industry, presenting your content in a way that’s appealing to your audience can be challenging. However, with a bit of creativity, you can turn dull topics into engaging reads, resulting in increased conversion rates.

Another area in which creativity and imagination play an essential role is content distribution. To have a competitive edge, you’ll have to find unique ways of getting your content in front of the right audience

5. Great Content Marketers Are Analytical

The top challenges for content marketers continue to pop up like recurring bad dreams. For B2B marketers, this includes the struggle to:

  • produce engaging content (60 percent)
  • measure the effectiveness of content (57 percent)
  • measure the return of content marketing (52 percent)

Sure, content marketers rely heavily on their creativity, but data must inform that creativity. Data allows you to know what kind of content your audience needs. It also helps you determine how effective your content marketing efforts are.

Remember, if you’re not tracking your content marketing efforts, you won’t know what’s working and what’s not. As a result, the next iterations of your campaigns will lack the precision necessary for success.

Taking a deep dive into analytics can be time-consuming, but it pays off at the end of the day. Make sure your content marketer of choice understands relevant content marketing metrics, knows how to interpret them, and can turn that data into actionable insights.

For example, a savvy content marketer would take a blog post that performs very well and repurpose it, thereby exponentially increasing its impact. Of course, you can’t do that without data backing you up.

6. Great Content Marketers Are Highly Organized

Content marketing is so effective 68 percent of marketers plan on increasing their content marketing budget. 

That means more content is being produced.

Effectively handling a growing content calendar without the quality of your content taking a dip requires an organized content marketer. That’s because as your content opportunities increase, so do the chances of making mistakes.

Content marketing involves more than just creating and publishing content. It also includes:

  • Knowing who is producing content.
  • Scheduling and publishing content consistently.
  • Keeping track of each piece of content and how it performs.
  • Actively listening for content opportunities.
  • Ensuring each piece of content is actively promoted on the proper channels.
  • Tracking engagement metrics to adjust your strategy and editorial calendar accordingly.
  • Maintaining an up-to-date editorial calendar.
  • Monitoring the content production process step-by-step to eliminate bottlenecks.

As you can see, there are many moving parts involved in executing an effective content strategy, and the complexity increases when you increase content output. Therefore, it takes an organized content marketer to manage the entire lifecycle of a content strategy efficiently.

7. Great Content Marketers Understand Storytelling

An essential element of successful content marketing is the ability to tell a story well.

When looking at the top content marketers’ qualities, storytelling should rank high.

You may have the best product on the market and the right data to market it well. A great story will help boost your content marketing efforts. That’s because stories are a great way to:

  • Connect emotionally with your audience.
  • Convey a message in a relatable way.
  • Increase engagement rates.

It’s not the features and benefits of your product/service that sell—it’s the stories you tell.

A great example of a brand that leveraged storytelling well is GoPro

Storytelling is one of the top content marketers qualities that helped GoPro breakthrough in the digital camera space.

Without spending truckloads of money on advertising, they managed to catch up and even outperform some established players in the digital camera space.

How did they do it?

Storytelling is at the core of their content strategy. They asked users to create stories with the product and created content their target audience loved.

No matter your product or service, you can incorporate storytelling in your marketing. However, you’ll need a content marketer with excellent storytelling ability to help you pull it off. 

Statistics and data are great for building your case, but it takes great storytelling to make your content and brand stand out.

8. Great Content Marketers Are Persistent

Many marketers fall into a “campaign: mentality and focus only on the ROI of content marketing.  

Picture the hawk-eyed content marketer, carefully watching metrics for indicators that something isn’t performing so they can pull the plug before too much effort is wasted.

That’s one of the biggest reasons most content marketing efforts flop—content marketing is discarded prematurely before the content matures.

A successful content marketer must be persistent in their approach to content marketing. They must be ready and willing to play the long game. The key to winning with content marketing is to stick with it for a long time. The more you publish new content, the more traffic you’ll drive to your website, as evidenced by the graph below:

When it comes to content marketers qualities, persistence is key because content marketing is a long game.

Great content marketers know that content marketing success doesn’t happen overnight. They understand that persistence is the key to success.

9. Great Content Marketers Have Good Grammar and Writing Skills

To create engaging content, you need to write like you talk. Therein lies the danger of offending the grammar police.

That’s why you need a content marketer who knows how to walk the fine line between good grammar and the ability to write engaging content. New forms of communication like tweeting, texting, and other digital platforms have taken a toll on how well people write and spell.

This has fueled the demand for content marketing specialists who can spin a nifty sentence that effectively conveys the message and stays true to current lingo without butchering grammar rules.

10. Great Content Marketers Have Excellent, Proven Research Skills

Research is the cornerstone for producing exceptional content. That’s because you need to gather a lot of data and information before creating any single piece of content. For example, content marketers need to understand:

  • Customers: You need to know your customers’ interests, pain points, and demographic and psychographic data. Researching customers is essential for crafting relevant and engaging copy.
  • Competitors: Competitor research includes peeking into their brand positioning and finding gaps to fill. 
  • Company: Content marketers need to understand your company’s products, how they are unique, and be able to align content development with the company’s overall vision.

A great content marketer also needs to be adept at using keyword research tools like Ubersuggest to come up with the right keywords and phrases to help your content rank. 

11. Great Content Marketers Enjoy Numbers

While content marketers aren’t expected to be mathematicians, they should still enjoy playing with numbers. That’s because successful content marketing specialists understand that crunching data is as important as weaving stories with their words.

Moreover, incorporating data into content is essential as it inspires trust and garners more shares on social media.

Where can you find the numbers to weave into your content?

One way is to conduct in-house experiments. For example, I regularly analyze my writing efforts and craft blog posts about my results.

When looking for content marketers' qualities, the love of numbers must also feature as a top quality. It helps with the creation of data-driven posts.

These data-driven posts are excellent for establishing you as a thought leader. They’re also backlink magnets.

12. Great Content Marketers Can Effectively Manage Projects and Deadlines

Documenting your content marketing strategy and managing your content calendar is crucial to increasing your chances of success. However, it requires the ability to manage projects and deadlines effectively.

Professional content marketers understand that missing just one deadline can tremendously hurt their business. They plan a year’s worth of blog posts in advance and follow a strict publishing schedule. This includes:

  • keyword research
  • topic generation
  • search intent and audience research
  • assigning the right writers
  • distributing on the right platforms

Keeping every piece moving in sync with your content marketing machine requires strong project management skills. Thankfully, there are a lot of project marketing tools that can help streamline the process. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Content Marketers

What is the main task of a content marketer? A content marketer’s main tasks include planning, creating, and distributing valuable content on behalf of a business.

How much do content marketers make? The average content marketer’s salary is $54,762, with the lowest percentile earning about $27,000 and the highest-paid earning around $93,000.

Do I need a degree to become a content marketer? While you may not need a degree to be a content marketer, it can be an advantage. In most cases, a proven track record is the most essential element to a successful career as a content marketer.

What education should a content marketer have? Writing, editing experience, data analytics, and SEO are the main areas of expertise a content marketer should have.

Content Marketers’ Qualities Conclusion

With many of your business goals relying on content marketing, a content marketer is essential for online business success.  

Use the 12 content marketers’ qualities mentioned above to create a checklist to help you find the best one. Granted, one with all the qualities mentioned above is a unicorn, but you can still find some that tick many of the boxes. Furthermore, whatever one may lack can be complemented by other members of the team.

At the end of the day, a well-executed content strategy should help you drive enough revenue to cover the costs and then some. 

Any other content marketers’ qualities you’d like to add?

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